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Ride Your Bike to Work in May

May is National Bike Month. Within Bike Month, the week of May 16-20 is designated as “Bike to Work” week, and Friday, May 20 is “Bike to Work” day. There are many events happening around the nation to promote this sustainable transport option. Search for an event near you by clicking here.

One of the promotions is by TransOptions, a northwestern New Jersey alliance of businesses and government offices that provides advice and assistance on commuting options and employee transportation programs. This month the alliance is running a promotional contest to award commuters who choose to travel to work by bike. The promotion requires every participant to create a profile and log in their bike commute distances weekly to win awards, like bike commuting gear and gift certificates to local bike shops. The promotion only applies to commuters in the alliance’s service areas of Essex, Passaic and Union counties in New Jersey. You can join the challenge by signing up here.

The TravelGreen program by Trailnet, a nonprofit environmental organization developing bike and pedestrian trails, is an initiative in St. Louis, Mo., that encourages bike commuting year round, especially in May. TravelGreen works with businesses to address the workplace environment, individual, and social support needed to promote bicycle commuting among employees.  In honor of Bike to Work day on May 20, Trailnet will be providing a complimentary breakfast to help build the cycling community. Here, cyclists will be able to swap tips on bike commuting and share routes.

The City of Long Beach, Calif., will be celebrating bike month with food, festivals and fundraisers. Bike Long Beach, a bicycle advocacy group, will be joining forces with community organizations to promote safe city streets for cyclists. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Bike Long Beach will be hosting a similar event to Trailnet’s, providing pit stops and energizing stations to bicycle commuters. The event will feature free hot coffee, breakfast to-go items, bicycle maps, bike tune-ups and opportunities to win giveaways.

A great way to encourage yourself to take up the bike for a commute is calculating your financial and health savings. You can calculate how much money you would save on gas and how many calories you would burn by switching to a bike commute on One World, Two Wheels’ website. One World, Two Wheels is an initiative by Trek, the bike company, to increase the number of trips taken in the U.S. by bike from the current 1 percent to 5 percent by 2017.

If riding a bike to work is not feasible, another way to contribute to the festivities can be making a tax-deductible donation to the U.S. Bicycle Route System to help build a national network of cycling routes. Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit working to inspire individuals of all ages to travel by bicycle, is partnering with nonprofits, federal, state and local agencies, the U.S. Congress and volunteers to build a network of cycling routes to connect cyclists, transportation hubs, scenic and historic destinations through existing and new infrastructure. Once built, the roads will be numbered, mapped and officially recognized by state and federal government agencies.

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